Healthy Eating

It’s All In Your Gut!

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in Blog, Dr. Dana Marshall, Dr. Susan Joyce, General Health, Healthy Eating | Comments Off on It’s All In Your Gut!

It’s all in your gut! There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to your gut. And that’s for good reason. While we’re still learning a lot about how the interaction between the digestive system and the rest of the body works, we do know that the delicate balance of intestinal flora in your digestive system can affect the body’s ability to perform the critical functions that affect our overall health, such as: Absorbing and producing vitamins and minerals, Regulating hormones, Digesting effectively, Responding to the immune system, and Eliminating toxins For those of us who already suffer from gastrointestinal or bowel disorders such as IBS, Celiac disease, or leaky gut syndrome, the link between gut and mental health become more pronounced.  And, our gastrointestinal (GI) health may be the root cause of many symptoms throughout the body – including your mental health! Given how extensive the influence of the gut is on these essential bodily functions, it’s clear that gut health is one of the most important ways we can look after our overall health. While there are MANY ways to take care of your gut, there are two factors that influence gut flora directly: prebiotics and probiotics. How does the connection between gut and body work? Well, in between the layers of your digestive tract is something called the enteric nervous system (ENS), which is made of two thin layers of over 100 million nerve cells lining your GI tract literally from top to bottom. The ENS sends messages between the gut and the brain. That’s why the gut is often called the “second brain.” And as you’ll see from the symptoms listed below, the messages that the second brain sends can be very persuasive! How can you tell if your gut is imbalanced? The ideal balance of gut bacteria is about 85% good bacteria to 15% bad bacteria. And that’s out of about 100 trillion bacteria that naturally live in our gut all the time! But this balance can be upset in the course of daily life, by caffeine, processed foods, stress, long-term use medications and antibiotics. In fact, one course of antibiotics can leave your gut bacteria weaker for years! And as we age, the natural decrease in our stomach acid – which plays an important role in the growth of good bacteria – enables bad bacteria to get stronger. The main culprit of a bacteria imbalance, though, is over-consumption of sugars. To make a real and immediate positive impact on your gut health, it’s essential to limit simple carbohydrates like sugars found in sodas, desserts, and processed foods like breads and flour products. There are all kinds of indicators of an imbalanced gastrointestinal system – we just have to pay attention to them. Symptoms like: Bloated, gassy and distended abdomen Extreme bowel movement patterns like diarrhea or constipation (or a fluctuation of both) Skin conditions including acne, irritations, and eczema flare-ups Constant fatigue despite getting an adequate amount of sleep ‘Down’ or sad emotions, irritability, anxiety Candida or yeast overgrowth Weight loss due to lack of an appetite or gain weight due to cravings for food lacking nutrients How can we help our gut communicate best? By providing it with what it needs to keep the balance of necessary good and bad bacteria we can help the gut take care of its biggest job – regulating digestion. That way, the gut’s messages to the body and mind are clear, efficient, and healthy. But how? There are MANY things we can do to aid in gut health and healing, but some simple things it...

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